The hardest thing…

I had this long post about how we need to take care of ourselves as mamas based off a personal story, but there is something that has rocked me and I feel the need to write.

I received a call today from my sister. I saw a missed call and voicemail from her (even though my phone never rang) then heard the house phone ring.  Two calls = not good news.  A former neighbor of my parents- a young couple with two young boys (3 and 1) have experienced the greatest lost and the greatest miracle all in one day. The husband, a handsome, friendly, personable man drove his car to an overpass, climbed the 10-12 foot suicidal prevention fence, (most likely as it seems too hard to imagine him climbing with both kids) threw his two sons over the fence before climbing and jumping himself. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The miracle? The two boys survived. It is reported that they have severe but not life-threatening injuries and are both in ICU.

No matter who you are, it is hard to hear news like this. What is even harder, to know the people involved and process it. And even harder than that- having two amazingly beautiful, healthy children and wondering how someone so innocent gets dragged up into this whole mess.

I saw someone post one of the many articles about the incident and one of the comments underneath simply said, “selfish.” Trust me, I do not condone what he did to his family. I do not understand what he did to his family, yet I find that comment to irritate and frustrate me because they have NO idea what drove John to this point. They are implying that this man was thinking logically and came to the conclusion that this was his best choice to take his life and his sons’ lives.  When speaking to my own dad, he said it best, “People are trying to put logic where logic doesn’t exist.” As a rational, usually level-headed thinking adult, my first reaction is, “how could you do this to your kids?!” but John could not have been thinking logically. No logical, thought provoking being would come to this conclusion.

This poor family- I can’t even begin to imagine what they are going through. I can’t begin to imagine what brought John to this devastating point. I have chatted with him on so many occasions. He detailed my car one week I was up visiting my parents. He helped me with a car battery issue I was having. He talked so sweetly about his two boys. They were the perfect next door neighbors.

My heart breaks for him- that he was so beyond help that his mind thought this was the only option. My heart breaks for Fara who has to nurse her two babies back to health while grieving over the lose of her husband while also dealing with the public’s opinion of her husband and their marriage. My heart breaks for those two little boys who will grow up without a father and will, I am sure one day, know what happened to them.

Today, our world just needs some extra prayers tonight. Our world needs a few extra hugs for our littles. Our world needs an extra kiss to our significant other. Our world needs love, hope, faith, and understanding— Please help me by taking a few seconds and thanking God for everything you have been blessed with and then to ask him to watch over this dear family.

That’s What Friends Are For…

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Over the last few weeks, I have watch my kids adapt to new adventures in their lives- one off to preschool for the second year and the other off to different playgroups with and without me. My oldest came home after the first week of school and told me about all the fun she had with the two friends she went to school knowing and then began telling me about her newest best friend. She has gone off to dance class for the first time talking about dancing with all her new friends (who she only met once). I have witnessed my youngest go up to any other kid on the playground, his age or not, and get them to chase him and play with him. I look at them in amazement. These two beautiful children can interact, play with, and make claims that they have a new best friend without even knowing the other kids’ names. My daughter cannot name half of the kids she plays with, but at the same time, she can most certainly name all of her closest friends.

I wish I could remember when making friends was so easy. Being a stay at home mom, I find it that much more difficult to find friends. My husband goes off to work every day and can have adult conversations, without distraction, or eat a meal with a coworker and get to know them. I, on the other hand, have a little bit more of a challenge. I’m blessed to have a husband who understands I need moms’ night outs. I feely guilty when I talk to him about wanting to go because I enjoy being home with my husband and family and hubby and I already have limited time together, but it’s also important for me to have girl friends.

I like to be surrounded by people. Happy people. Genuine people. I have some great friends from high school and college who I will always love and cherish and I can always pick up the phone and talk, but they live hundreds of miles away and I needed friends that were close by.

I have found a few friends in the 4 years of my daughter’s life that I have become close with. We found each other by being in the same gym class with our kids or through a network of moms in the area. It hasn’t really been until this last year, though, that I have found a solid group of friends. The type of friends that you can call when something is bothering you. The type of friend that you can disturb their morning and cry about something. The type of friend that when something amazing happens, they are one of the first people you want to tell. The type of friend that you can find comfort in, experience joys and successes with, love them and their families like your own. I have finally found my friends, but it was not an easy journey and it’s also not over.

A true friend is like finding a husband. You have to mesh. You have to have similar ideologies, parenting styles, passions, likes, dislikes, and be in the same page of your life. Just like finding a husband, you have to “date” others to find the right match. I have shown who I am has a person (mom, wife, and friend) and have been dismissed by some. I have also been lead on by others who later dumped me so harshly. I have seen that making friends now, in my 20s, is very much like making friends in middle school– there are cliques and “I’m going to pretend to be someone I’m not” and good-weathered friends.

In the end though, we all learn from every relationship we have because we have invested ourselves into it and we learn about ourselves, we learn about the other person, and we continue to grow and move forward. I am lucky that I have found some amazing people. They have seen me soar and fall and no matter what, they are there. They have supported me, they have talked me off the cliff (not literally), they have told me the truth and I have done the same. You never have to pretend you are someone you are not with a true friend. You don’t have to pretend you have it all together and do life alone. You don’t have to be ashamed when you need help.

Here’s to all the amazing friends we have had, that we still have, and will continue to have. I truly believe every person comes into your life for a reason- embrace your journey, learn from your journey, and continue to be yourself!

Stop. Breathe. Love.

Who else is feeling the amount of animosity in our country?! Although, I think we can all agree that the debates are awful. What is even more awful are the friendships being ruined because of FB political posts and debates. We as a society have lost the ability to have a conversation with others. People also think that because social media exists, they think everyone and their mother wants to hear their point of view— we don’t. I also believe that we vote in private for a reason. No one needs to know who I am voting for and really, I don’t want to know who you are voting for either.

May we learn to live simpler. Love deeper. Argue less. Love more. Stop words of hate and animosity and learn to speak with more words of encouragement and acceptance.

In addition, please watch this amazing video by the wonderful Kid President. I absolutely love his messages and maybe we can learn to listen more to his words.

 

Who doesn’t need a little help

Motherhood is the toughest but most rewarding job I have ever had. (OK– so I haven’t had too many jobs, but I think it’s pretty safe to say this is a fact!) If you feel the same way,  I know just the thing for you.

It’s called The Mom Conference. It’s all online so you get an email each day of the conference (October 11-13) with a link to a number of speakers from that day. You have a 24 window to watch. You get to watch in the comfort of your own home, in your favorite lounge wear, maybe even with a glass of wine or tea in your hand. What can be better?! Oh, wait, I know! It’s FREE!

Register HERE

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WHAT IS THE MOM CONFERENCE?

The Mom Conference is a totally FREE three-day online event featuring some truly amazing speakers and YOU are invited to attend!

Join over 100,000 moms around the world on October 11, 12, and 13th and come away armed with powerful new strategies for everything from sibling rivalry to healthy eating to finding more joy in motherhood.

Register for FREE now by clicking here.

WHY ATTEND?

Being a mom can be overwhelming at times, right?! The Mom Conference involves 20 online classes by 20 rock star speakers (mostly moms) who will teach you how to:

  • Understand and manage your children’s emotions (and your own!)
  • Teach your children about sex (yes, you really do need to do this…)
  • Help your children to embrace healthy foods while teaching them to cook
  • Raise grateful children and avoid the entitlement epidemic going on these days
  • Manage your children’s cell phone use and screen time (such a tricky and important subject!)
  • Take better care of your body, mind and soul (yes, YOU need to be cared for along with your children!)
  • Develop and stick to a budget that really works
  • Nurture your marriage
  • Teach your children – babies through teens – the values and character traits that will help them be successful and happy
  • Get that house clean and keep it that way (in a fun way!)
  • Find more joy in motherhood

Sounds amazing, right?

Here is a list of some of the incredible presenters:

  • Dr Laura Markham, Clinical Psychologist, bestselling author and discipline expert at Aha Parenting (Helping Kids – and Yourself – Manage Emotions)
  • Katie Kimball, expert on healthy eating for families and founder of Kitchen Stewardship (Want Responsible and Healthy Kids? Teach Them to Cook and Eat Real Food)
  • Ruth Soukup, NYT Bestselling Author and Founder of Living Well, Spending Less (Decluttering your Home, Mind and Soul)
  • Ramona Zabriski, Founder of Wife for Life University (How to be a Wife for Life)
  • Amy McCready, parenting expert, TODAY Show Contributor, author and creator of Positive Parenting Solutions (Raising Motivated and Grateful Children During this Me, Me, Me Epidemic)
  • Jesse Mecham, Founder of You Need a Budget (Budgeting Made Simple)
  • Dina Alexander, Founder of Educate and Empower Kids (How to Talk to your Children about Sex)
  • Richard and Linda Eyre, NYT #1 Bestselling authors who run Valuesparenting (Simple and Powerful Ways to Teach Children Values)
  • Marla Cilley (a.k.a. the Fly Lady), author, home organization and cleaning mentor, founder of FlyLady.net (Cleaning in a Fun Way)
  • Shawni Pothier, founder of the popular mom-blog, 71 Toes (Managing Kids’ Cell Phone and Screen Time – Without Making Them Hate You)
  • April and Eric Perry, life architecture experts and founders of Learn-Do-Become (Building the Life and Future you Really Want)
  • Saren Eyre Loosli, family organization expert and co-founder of Power of Moms (The Three Basic Systems Every Family Needs)

And to help you avoid procrastination (we know how it goes!), if you register RIGHT NOW, you’ll have access to the following FREE GIFTS as soon as your registration has been completed!

– FREE Audio Story and Family Discussion Guide: These materials will help you teach your children about honesty in a really fun way

– FREE Guide: 7 Day Healthy Eating Meal Plan and Shopping List

Come participate ONLINE and be inspired October 11, 12 and 13th!

Start at the very beginning…

Why is it that starting something from the very beginning is not only intimidating, but also frightening and difficult? It makes sense to start at the beginning, but at the same time, when you start there, there isn’t much to work from. You have to make it all yourself. Your ideas are no longer an idea that has all intentions of succeeding, but they become a tangible endeavor that will either succeed or fail (or somewhere in between). It’s scary to not just have a thought and a dream but to actually do something with it.

A very dear and lovely friend just started her blogging journey, and while I have tried to do it in the past, she motivated me to try for real. Motivation is not my strong suit. This will be work and this will be hard, but I want to be a voice for change in the world. I want to be the voice of calm for any parent out there. I want to be the voice for encouragement to get you up and doing something you have wanted to do but was too scared to try.

I hope you join me on this journey and we can learn from each other. We can find peace and beauty if when it’s hard to find in our life. Life gets crazy, what’s nice to know is that no matter how lonely you feel, you aren’t. I hope to be the one to remind you of that.